• Using local knowledge to inform commercial fisheries science and management in Poland and Alaska

      Figus, Elizabeth Carroll; Criddle, Keith; Carothers, Courtney; Beaudreau, Anne; Kuzebski, Emil (2018-05)
      Science and decision making in commercial fisheries management take place in the context of uncertainty. This research demonstrates ways that local knowledge held by fishermen can be used to mitigate that uncertainty. This dissertation documents local knowledge of fishermen in Poland and Alaska, and contributes to the development of methods for utilizing that local knowledge in commercial fisheries management. Specific case study examples were developed through exploratory interviews with fishermen in the two study regions. Interviews were conducted with Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) fishermen in Poland and Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) fishermen in Alaska. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze local knowledge about ecosystems, as well as preferences held by fishermen about regulations. Cultural consensus analysis was used to quantify agreement among fishermen in Poland about the abundance and condition of cod, and generalized additive modeling was used to show how fishermen and scientists attributed different causes to similar observed phenomena. Multiple factor analysis and logistic regression were used to demonstrate how fishing characteristics influence encounters with incidental catch in the commercial fishery for halibut in Southeast Alaska. Finally, an analytic hierarchy process model was used to shed light on preferences halibut fishermen have about data collection methods on their vessels. All findings show how the inclusion of fishermen's local knowledge in fisheries management need not be limited to informal conversations or public testimony at meetings in order to be meaningfully interpretable by managers.